General & Products Liability

General & Product Liability

MMP&S’s General & Product Liability practice remains a focal point of our firm. We represent clients ranging from individuals to property owners, contractors, small businesses and large corporations in a wide variety of cases including premises liability, products liability and property damage matters.

During each phase of litigation, our experienced teams of attorneys and paralegals conduct a thorough investigation of each case, with a detailed eye towards providing a precise analysis of medical records, identifying every potential defense argument as early as possible and maintaining consistent and direct communication with both the carriers and insured clients.

In addition, our firm regularly consults with a wide variety of highly trained experts to explore and develop our liability and damages defenses on such cases, including board certified physicians and surgeons, vocational rehabilitation counselors, professional engineers, accident reconstruction experts and biomechanical engineers, just to name a few.

With a team-oriented and highly collaborative approach, MMP&S has litigated countless matters from inception through settlement or trial, with an emphasis on employing creative and cutting-edge solutions to bring such matters to the most favorable and efficient resolutions possible while providing unparalleled legal services to our clients and carriers.

Recent Results

Summary Judgment Granted in Case Involving Property Owners & Managers - 2020

In Xiomara Astacio v. Birdie 141 Broadway Associates, et. al., MMP&S successfully obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims brought by the plaintiff against multiple Insured property owners/property managers, seeking over $1 Million in damages for significant and disfiguring burn injuries. Plaintiff was a tenant in one of the apartment units located within the Insured’s building in Manhattan. When ConEdison and the City of New York discovered a leak in the main gas supply line to the building, gas service to the premises was shut off pending repair and replacement of the gas line. To accommodate the tenants who were no longer able to use their apartment unit gas stoves/ovens, the Insureds purchased and provided to each tenant a 2-burner electric tabletop burner to utilize until gas service to the building was restored. While cooking in her apartment on the date of loss, Plaintiff alleged that, unbeknownst to her, the electric stove spontaneously turned on, causing a pot of oil (which Plaintiff had placed on the burner) to reach boiling.

Plaintiff then accidentally knocked a can of food into the pot, causing the boiling oil to splash on to her chest and thighs, resulting in second and third degree burns. Although Plaintiff ‘s Complaint presented allegations strongly identifying a cause of action for strict products liability, Plaintiff presented her claims as premises liability/negligence, alleging that the Insureds negligently provided her with a faulty 2-burner electric tabletop burner unit. At the close of discovery, MMP&S moved for summary judgment on the ground that the Insureds had no prior notice of any specific alleged dangerous condition regarding the 2-burner electric burner units and on the ground that Plaintiff’s negligence constituted the intervening/superseding cause of her alleged accident. Plaintiff responded with a cross-motion ─ almost 5 years after the alleged date of loss ─ seeking leave to serve an Amended Complaint asserting strict products liability causes of action against the Insureds, as well as the manufacturer and local distributor of the subject electric burner stove. The Court not only granted summary judgment in favor of the Insureds, it also denied Plaintiff’s cross motion to amend, holding that property owners/property managers like the Insureds ─ as a matter of law ─ are not within the chain of product distribution and, therefore, not proper defendants for the proposed strict products liability claims.

MMP&S Obtains Defense Verdict Following 4 Week Jury Trial - 2020

MMP&S successfully obtained a defense verdict following a 4 week jury trial in Supreme Court, Kings County.

Our client, the Defendants, were the owners and property managers of a cooperative apartment building. The Plaintiff, a package delivery person, claimed that he sustained severe and permanent personal injuries while descending an interior stairway in our client’s building. The Plaintiff claimed that the building and property manager were negligent in the ownership, operation, maintenance and repair of the subject staircase where Plaintiff fell. More specifically, the Plaintiff claimed that the building’s staircase was painted improperly creating a slippery and dangerous condition that caused Plaintiff to fall.

Our clients submitted evidence at trial that the subject staircase was painted with non-skid paint five years prior to the Plaintiff’s accident and that the building never received any notice of any dangerous condition on the stairs nor did the Defendants receive any complaints of anyone falling on the stairs prior to the Plaintiff’s accident. Our client also contended that it was the Plaintiff’s inattentiveness descending the staircase, his failure to use the handrails available to him, and that he descended the stairs too quickly that caused and/or contributed to him falling. Defendants also argued that the Plaintiff’s assertion that the stairs were shiny and looked slippery were based on speculation.

The jury rendered a unanimous defense verdict that our clients were not negligent for Plaintiff’s accident and the Court dismissed the Verified Complaint against them.

MMP&S Secures Dismissal in Complex Personal Injury Action Against the City of Rye - 2019
In Deborba, et. al. v. The City of Rye, et. al., MMP&S secured a dismissal of all claims asserted against The City of Rye in a complex personal injury action. The plaintiff argued that The City of Rye had actual and constructive notice of a defect on a City sidewalk. The actual notice argument was based upon records which showed that work was performed by The City near the sidewalk within months of the accident. To establish constructive notice, the plaintiff relied upon a Google Maps photograph which showed that the defect existed for years.

MMP&S was successful in convincing the Court that the notice arguments were not enough to overcome the statutory protections put in place to protect The City of Rye.